conditions under which Hinduism as developed are partly responsible for some of these
strange growths. Even in a small homogeneous community it is difficult to find a uniform.
religious formula that would satisfy the needs of all minds. What satisfies the young may
not satisfy the old. What satisfies the laborer may not satisfy the scholar. It is nothing
short of violence to thrust all minds into the pigeonhole of a single formula.
The difficulty is increased a thousand fold when the community is spread
over a vast continent and includes different races with varying levels of culture and when
there is no central institution to enforce uniformity. Every one of the races that came
within the fold of Hinduism had its own gods, its own rites and ceremonies and its own
method of worship. Hinduism had the difficult task of reconciling all these and
finding their greatest common measure.
But fortunately the formula that had already been
discovered by the Vedic sages- "Ekam sat, vipra bahudha vadanti" (The Reality is
one, but the wise speak of it in different ways) was elastic enough to admit any number of
gods into the Hindu Pantheon without doing violence to the deepest spiritual intuitions of
the Aryan race.